What is Zillow?
With over 110 million home listings across the States, Zillow is the USA’s most popular real estate site. The Seattle-based company launched in 2006 and has since made a name for itself through its seamless end-to-end service.
If you’re looking to buy, sell or rent a property, you’ll probably want to explore every available avenue, which is why we’ve put together this article on our favorite Zillow competitors. But before we get to the alternatives, here are the key features that make Zillow great.
The feature that Zillow is best known for is its “Zestimates.” These are generated estimates of how much a home is worth based on sources of information like tax records, physical attributes, and user-submitted data.
While perhaps not as accurate as an estimate from a real real estate agent, Zestimates are a great way to get a snappy idea of how much a home could be worth.
Customizable search filters
Zillow has one of the best search functions as it allows you to narrow down your results with a whole host of filters that other databases often ignore. You can set a limit to HOA fees, search by lot size, number of stories, and year built.
You can select whether it has a pool, air-conditioning, or a basement and even search for properties based on the type of view from the windows.
If you’ve looked at homes on Zillow, chances are you’ve also come across Trulia. The sites share quite a few similarities, and that’s because the Zillow Group acquired Trulia at the start of 2015 for $3.5 billion.
The two may be siblings now, but they aren’t identical twins. Here are the features that make Trulia unique.
Crime map data
When you’re looking to move home, one important thing to keep in mind is the area’s safety. After all, a place may look perfect on paper, but you don’t want to move into a neighborhood with a string of recent break-ins.
One of Trulia’s best features is its crime map data, which gathers information from news reports and local law enforcement to give you a good idea of the area’s security.
Visual cost breakdowns
When you visit a listing on Trulia, you’ll be able to get a pretty good idea of the monthly costs of living there, thanks to its visual breakdowns.
This includes monthly mortgage payments, home insurance, property taxes, association fees, and mortgage insurance. Having this information immediately available is a real-time-saver for anyone hoping to buy a home.
With an intuitive user interface and plenty of information included in each listing, Homesnap is one of the best competitors to Zillow. Users can search for homes to buy or rent through their browser or take advantage of its top-rated mobile app.
Founded in 2012, Homesnap is one of the newer home listing databases headquartered in Washington, D.C.
Homesnap’s search function makes finding your next home a straightforward experience. All you have to do is type in a zip/postal code, city name, address, or MLS number to bring up a detailed map of the available homes in the area.
The homes show up as green pins on the map with their price listed below. Click on a pin, and you’ll see an image of the home with bedroom and bathroom info. Click again, and you’ll be taken to the full listing page.
Unique mobile app
Homesnap’s mobile app is where it really stands out from databases like Zillow. It’s compatible with Android, iPhone, and even Apple Watch and Apple TV.
Once downloaded, you can take real-time photos of a property for sale, and the app will look up all of the important listing information about the place. It even works on homes that are currently off the market.
Unlike Zillow and some of the other sites in this article, Neighborhoodscout isn’t a standard database of home listings. Instead, it’s focused on providing analytics so you can get an idea of what it’s like to live in a certain area of the USA.
It was created in 2002 by demographics specialist Andrew Schiller.
Detailed neighborhood information
Using NeighborhoodScout’s search function, you can enter a city, state, zip code, or address and bring up information about the neighborhood. If you’re looking to buy a home or invest in the area, this can be a beneficial way of finding out things like average house prices and local school info.
When you search for a neighborhood, you’ll be treated to its population and a profile with several paragraphs of information about the character and history of the place.
The different tabs at the top of the page give a detailed insight into the house market trends in the neighborhood, visual demographics, crime, and education data.
You’ll have access to a lot of information for free, but for even more advanced data, NeighborhoodScout offers a paid subscription plan for $39.99 per month with in-depth reports and housing appreciation rates.
Founded in 1995, Realtor.com is a popular Zillow competitor owned by News Corp and based in Santa Clara, California. It launched as a closed network for members of the National Association of Realtors but has since rebranded as a public website.
As of 2021, Realtor.com is now the second most visited listing site and claims to be the largest real estate website in the USA.
Realtor.com is a little more basic than sites like Zillow and Trulia but makes up for it by having the most current listings on the market, thanks to its connection to MLS.
This makes it an excellent starting point when looking to buy or rent a new home. Once you’ve found a listing you like, you can request a private showing from an agent and view information such as the property history.
Great for renters
Real estate sites aren’t just about buying and selling. A large number of people also use them to rent homes. Realtor.com is one of the best sites for rentals because it shows when the rental listing was last updated.
Landlords can list and accept agreements on properties for free, taking the hassle out of the process for both parties.
Based in Lewisville, Texas, Xome has one of the largest collections of exclusive properties available for auction and traditional MLS properties to buy and sell.
Xome’s search function works similarly to Homesnap, with a useful map of all the available homes in the area. Its 0% commission upon sale policy makes it an attractive option for home sellers as well.
Best for bidding
Xome is one of the biggest databases of auction properties, and its app has some useful features such as contract e-signing and pushes notifications for competitive bids.
Its transparent bidding and fast closing make it our favorite alternative to Zillow for buying through an auction. You can even bid on homes early by using Xome’s pre-auction feature.
Robust search options
Good search functionality is essential when trying to find a place that’s right for you. We found Xome to be one of the most impressive listing sites in this regard, with the ability to search for residential or commercial auctions by their location, status, and auction asset type.
You’ll be able to filter and sort properties based on the number of beds and bathrooms, square footage, and how soon the auction is starting or ending.